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Langley Road, Leamington Spa, Warwick, CV31 2EX

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What is Forest School at Whitnash Primary?

"An inspirational process that offers children, young people and adults regular opportunities to achieve and  develop confidence and self esteem through hands on learning experiences in a woodland environment"

Murray and O'Brien 2005

Forest School Initiative 2007


Forest School evolved from observing children's natural interest and curiosity in the world. In the 1950's in Sweden and Denmark children experienced Forest School, learning about nature through stories and communities sharing the values of being outdoors.

At Whitnash Primary School we have planted 150 new trees and look forward to developing our woodland with the children. The children will use the forest school area to the left of the school field as ell as creating our wild area. In these areas children can explore and learn new skills.


What Happens?

We meet to run off some excitement with a game developing teak work skills. We than come together and talk about what we will be doing and what we hope to have done by the end of the session.  The sessions are designed around the groups learning styles around a theme.  Themes include:


Developing positive relationships

Environment art

Natural world

Exploring the site

Or … pirates, fairies butterflies.


Although the planning is not curriculum led, many areas of The National Curriculum are covered in the Forest School Experience.

The children can being exploring, being creative and start investigating. They will learn the boundaries of behaviour, grow in self esteem and confidence, becoming self motivated learning.

The group will use full size hand tools for some of the tasks. To do this we follow the appropriate procedures as discussed at the beginning of the session and under supervision. They will also learn about the safe use of fire and the skills to light and manage a fire safely.

The session ends with a review. The children may be asked to draw, act or play a game to reflect of what they have done.

Each child may then take home something to promote communication with peers, parents /carers and staff. This continues the reviewing/learning process.


The Forest School Ethos

Forest Schools provide opportunities to explore, discover and play though having regular access and experiences of the natural world through all sessions. The Forest School programme is designed and delivered by a qualified Forest School leader who endeavours to cater to the individual learning needs of each group. Therefore promoting positive relationships, challenges and appropriate risk taking, whilst naturally developing the whole child.

We aim to:

  • Offer a challenging, spacious learning environment, creating the opportunities for
  • play, and appropriate risk taking.
  • Nurture each child's whole development, creating expressions and individual
  • learning styles.
  • Promote health and emotional well being b building self esteem and self discovery.
  • Provide achievable tasks that help develop personal, social and emotional skills.
  • Develop positive relationships promoting community.
  • Work sensitively in the environment considering our impact and rotating the use of
  • all areas to lessen the effects.

Role of the Forrest School Leader

  • Plan sessions to reflect individual's learning styles, through observations.
  • Follow the children's lead, promoting free and independent play and exploration.
  • Demonstrate effective communication with children, families and school.
  • Provide small achievable tasks for the grounds to build esteem.
  • Create and regularly update risk assessments and policies to enable appropriate
  • risk taking.
  • Manage the forest school areas with the children, school and parents, through
  • the environment group to create a sustainable learning environment.
  • Work in line with school policies and procedures - safeguarding behaviour and
  • environment.

Role of the Forest School Volunteer

  • Promote the forest school ethos when working with the group, follow the
  • children's lead.
  • Support the forest school leader to deliver small achievable tasks in line with
  • procedures.
  • Respect the children's space and encourage them to work things out.
  • Work in line with school policies and procedures.
  • Support the sustainable management of the forest school areas.
  • Have fun!

What do the children need?

Wellington Boots or Walking Shoes

Trousers

Long Sleeve Top

Sweatshirt/Jumper

Waterproof Jacket and Trousers

Hat, Gloves and Scarf

Please also provide a spare outfit as we can get very muddy and wet.